The End Times
Okay, I LIED!! Forgive me???
I did intend to start a new series on the Letter to the Messianic Jews (Hebrews), but it seemed more appropriate that I wrap up the series on The End Times with my reflections on what I learned from studying this unique Book of Scripture.
For those that have been with me from the beginning of this series, we have been studying one hundred-seven posts on Revelation since Christmas Day, 2016. Recall that before the exploration of The Revelation of Yeshua HaMassiach to Yochanan we had examined “What Does Yeshua Say About the End Times.” That series comprised thirteen posts on Matthew 24 & 25 ~ The Olivet Discourse, which concluded an eighty-part series on the Christain Torah from Matthew’s Gospel.
I introduced our study of Revelation by stating:
Shortly after committing myself to the Lord, I read Hal Lindsey’s “Late Great Planet Earth” and was convinced a pre-tribulation rapture of the church would occur soon. Then going through the entire Bible, I became a mid-triber hoping the pre-tribers were correct. I devoured Tim LaHaye’s “Left Behind” series. I thought it was an excellent fictionalization of The End Times and didn’t have too many concerns from a scriptural standpoint. But, once again the idea of studying eschatology didn’t trip my trigger.
It now appears that God has cocked that trigger. As I think I’ve shared before, my personal study in God’s Word this year has been through the Brit Hadashah (New Covenant), Tehillim (Psalms) and Mishlei (Proverbs) using the English Standard Version Study Bible. In addition to the Olivet Discourse which I blogged on earlier this year, I kept running into passages in the Brit Hadashah by Sha’ul and Kefa that mention The End Times. My Tuesday Skype group has also been studying the End Times and the Pastor at our church who leads the Senior Adult Ministry (Prime Time) has just finished a study on Revelation. Ok, Lord, you got my attention.
I am forever grateful to Anthony Baker over at Recovering Legalist for introducing me to Steve Gregg’s “Revelation: Four Views, Revised & Updated.” Mr. Gregg introduced me to a whole new way of understanding the four main views of scholars in interpreting this apocalyptic literature: Historicists, Preterists, Futurist, and Idealist.
Although I could occasionally understand how Historicists and Preterists came to their interpretations and agreed with some, I found myself to be more aligned with the Futurists and the Premillennialists. I never did understand the Idealists point of view. It was just too squishy to sink my teeth into it.
Futurists hold that Chapters 4 and 5 seem to detail the events that occur in heaven after the Rapture, and chapters 6-18 the events that occur on the earth after the Rapture. It is the same event told from two different vantage points. They also believe that at the end of chapter 3, the Rapture of Believers takes place: Come up here. (4:1). The period that follows, beginning with chapter 4 and ending with the Battle of Armageddon (19:19) and the 1000-year reign of Yeshua on earth (the Millennium; chap. 20), covers a terrible seven-year period at the time of the end referred to as the Great Tribulation (see 7:14 and Matthew 24:21). These seven years are the same as the 70th set of seven years the prophet Daniel spoke about (see Daniel 9:27).
Throughout my study, I tried to place myself in Yochanan’s sandals without much success. His visitation by angels and being caught up to heaven in Chapter 4 and elsewhere were beyond my personal experience. If I saw what he saw, could I describe it any differently to a modern audience? Perhaps because of advanced technology and the threat of nuclear holocaust.
Are we in the last days? Is the Lord going to call the faithful home soon? Is the Roman Catholic Church the Anti-Messiah? I don’t know, and no one else does except God Himself. All I know for sure from the study can be boiled down into two simple statements:
- We may see signs and wonders that are predicted to proceed The End Times, but we do not know the day or the hour it will begin; even so, come Lord quickly.
- God is on the throne, and He is still in control. All we need to do is trust and obey, and it will all pan out for our good. All we must do is Be Prepared.
I hope you have enjoyed coming along with me on this journey.
In my next post, we will begin a new series based on the Letter to the Messianic Jews (Hebrews).